Atomic Mass: 39.0983 amu
Melting Point: 63.38 °C
Boiling Point: 579 °C
There are lots of cool things about Potassium, such as that you've heard of it and that its chemical symbol is "K." You can't help but love Potassium, because you are 1/400th it! (The same is true of anyone you've ever been in love with.) It's tied (with Sulfer) as the seventh most common element in your body, although if you went on a truly serious Doritos binge it might drop behind Sodium for a while if my math is correct. Compare that with these fancy Swedish Elements we've been studying lately! You don't have any Ytterbium in your body! At least, you shouldn't.
No doubt Potassium has incredibly esoteric uses in the alloying and metallurgic biz, but it's important in more fundamental ways too. For instance, it's essential for neural transmission, basic metabolism, and cell function. Don't leave home without it. But not to worry: it's one of those dietary minerals that is kind of hard not to get enough of, so long as you are eating normal foods, but there's apparently some evidence that a little more Potassium in the diet may keep strokes at bay.
|(Photo by Wiki guy "Dennis S.K.," used under one of those open licence dealies.)|
Oh, did I mention that Sir Humphry Davy first isolated elemental Potassium in 1807? He did. And a couple of months later, he isolated Sodium. In 1808, he isolated Calcium. Then he did Magnesium, Boron, and Barium, and proved that Chlorine was its own Element and not an Oxygen compound like everybody thought. He was also a respected poet, and he invented a lamp that saved countless thousands by dramatically reducing the incidence of mining explosions. What have you been up to lately?